IPOPHL partners with CITEM to educate more MSMEs in IP protection

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to promote intellectual property (IP) protection among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

By increasing IP education and awareness, the MOU aims to help MSMEs achieve recovery and resilience amid continued challenges in the pandemic.

“Through this collaboration, we hope we can prove that an IP protection strategy is not only for giant, multinational businesses. Our MSMEs, with their bigger potential for growth and expansion, have a lot to lose if they fail to safeguard their IP assets in the early stages of their businesses,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba remarked during the virtual signing of the MOU last January 18.

The MOU provides a framework that covers strategic areas for providing IP educational campaigns. These areas include enhancing IP protection, creation, exportation, promotion and partnerships.

Under the MOU, parties also agree to devote the required resources such as manpower, funding and time to increase the number of MSMEs that are aware of their IP rights.

IPOPHL will also be part of CITEM’s signature events, namely Manila FAME, IFEX Philippines, CREATE Philippines and Sustainability Solutions Exchange, to readily provide specific training needs to participating and attending MSMEs.

CITEM’s export industry enabler programs will also deeply integrate IP education.

CITEM, represented by Director Paulina Suaco-Juan, Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes D. Mediran and Controller Division Chief Malerna C. Buyao, expressed its gratitude towards IPOPHL’s continued support to help exporters and MSMEs recover through the protection of their IP rights.

“Our work seems cut out for us, especially in protecting ideas, products, services and businesses of sectors who are just beginning to learn the value of IP,” Sauco-Juan said. “And we are grateful to IPOPHL for all the knowledge-sharing seminars you’ve given to our exhibitors.”

“As DTI’s export promotion agency, our commitment to promoting exporters and MSMEs can help amplify the importance of IP rights, especially for export-oriented businesses. It is for this reason that we seek to strengthen our partnership with IPOPHL to continue to educate MSMEs on their IP rights, and help them sustain and hopefully scale their businesses,” Suaco-Juan added.

Recognizing that CITEM “has always been a staunch partner of IPOPHL,” Deputy Director General Teodoro C. Pascua expressed confidence that the MOU will provide and equip exporters MSMEs with IP skills and knowledge “that will allow them to take practical measures in protecting their rights, products and services.” (IPOPHL)